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Press release from PR Newswire

National Survey Finds 51 Percent of Professionals Plan to Participate in Office Pools During National College Basketball Tournament

Monday, March 14, 2011

National Survey Finds 51 Percent of Professionals Plan to Participate in Office Pools During National College Basketball Tournament16:37 EDT Monday, March 14, 2011OfficeMax's 2011 "Hoops at Work" survey explores the effects of the college basketball tournament on camaraderie and productivity in the workplaceNAPERVILLE, Ill., March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With the national college basketball tournament quickly approaching, Americans are busy spending time around the clock researching teams and making tournament predictions. According to OfficeMax's 2011 "Hoops at Work" survey(1), many employed Americans are not afraid to show their college basketball team spirit or join in tournament pools and brackets at the office. In fact, some professionals are so excited that they readily bring the tournament to work by wearing team apparel, decorating their workspaces, and even treating colleagues to sweets decorated with team colors and logos. Not surprisingly, while team spirit and office camaraderie are focused on the love of the game, work details may become a secondary concern.To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: percent of working Americans say that professionals at their workplace typically organize an office pool where anyone can place bets on their favorite teams during the national college basketball tournament ? even if the company discourages the behavior. The other 49 percent do not engage, as such activities are strictly prohibited by their employers. Therefore, it's not surprising that more than half (51%) of employed Americans reportedly plan to partake in an office pool during the basketball tournament if a colleague organizes one. More men than women (59% vs. 44%) plan to join a pool at their place of employment if available.Being part of a tournament pool means keeping up to date on team statistics, wins and overall progress. Nearly half (48%) of employed Americans check the game scores online at least once a day while at work. Of that 48 percent, on average those employees will scope out game results five times a day when they are on the clock at work. About two-thirds (67%) of working Americans are allowed to openly celebrate their favorite teams in the workplace and display their team spirit by wearing team apparel like jerseys or hats (52%), donning their team's colors (50%), or proudly displaying their bracket boards to track their team's progress (25%).But amidst the fun and excitement, productivity may suffer. Perhaps some companies discourage celebration of the national college basketball tournament because more than four in ten (42%) employed Americans openly admit that workplace productivity is negatively impacted. Some report that colleagues talk about the games instead of doing their jobs (55%), watch the games on TV or online ignoring their workload (47%), or even leave work early (21%) or arrive late (19%) because they are watching the tournament.Whether you officially partake in the college basketball tournament pools or not, the reality is that many professionals are excited about the playoff games this March, and it's more likely than not that team spirit and tournament pools will, for a time, overshadow work productivity.About OfficeMaxOfficeMax Incorporated (NYSE: OMX) is a leader in both business-to-business office products solutions and retail office equipment. The OfficeMax mission is simple. We help our customers do their best work. The company provides office supplies and paper, in-store print and document services through OfficeMax ImPress®, technology products and solutions, and office furniture to consumers and to large, medium and small businesses. OfficeMax customers are served by more than 30,000 associates through direct sales, catalogs, e-commerce and approximately 1,000 stores. For more information, visit Methodological Notes: The 2011 OfficeMax Custom Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between February 18 and February 25, 2011 using an email invitation and an online survey. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by More than 2.9 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with All persons in the universe represented by the sample.OfficeMax Media ContactsInvestor ContactBill BonnerJennifer RookMike Steele630 864 6066630 864 6057630.864.6826(1)  National internet study among 629 employed Americans ages 18-years and older conducted by Kelton Research in February 2011.SOURCE OfficeMaxFor further information: Bill Bonner, +1-630-864-6066, or Jennifer Rook, +1-630-864-6057, Media; or Mike Steele, +1-630-864-6826, Investors